One of the cool things about boxing is that it has never been run by one promotion. Sure we have had promotional wars between Showtime and HBO, and disputes over PPV cuts and revenue sharing. The delay that sucked some of the interest out of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight in 2015 was largely because of an inability to compromise on money. Eventually though, boxing figures out a way to make the big fights.
That doesn't happen in MMA. That's because the most successful promotions in MMA don't work together. There are no inter-promotional matches. The biggest brands in MMA compete with each other and act like their stars are better than the other company's stars.
But what if we could book a Supercard of UFC vs. Bellator fights? What if the companies came together to do the right thing for MMA fans? If they did, here are five fights would love to see.
Liam McGeary vs. Jon Jones
Rising star vs. man considered the best fighter in the world.
It's true that McGeary hasn't faced the kind of competition that Jones has, but the Bellator fighter has looked dangerous and impressive during his run. McGeary, Bellator's light heavyweight champion, submitted Tito Ortiz in under a round. His biggest challenge is that there's not a lot of great light heavyweight talent in Bellator.
We don't know how great of a submission artist he can be. At 6 feet 6 inches, he has the size to frustrate Jones, the (interim) UFC light heavyweight champion. When talking interpromotional matches we need title vs. title matches. McGeary might have the formula to stop the UFC champ.
Winner: Liam McGeary, by submission
Bobby Lashley vs. Mark Hunt
What happens when the irresistible force meets the immovable object? Pure combat bliss, that's what.
Lashley is a walking hulk of a man with an amateur wrestling background. He hits hard and if he gets on top of you, you will submit. So let's match him up against a guy who when he hits people sends them to the moon and back. Mark Hunt can knock out anyone and Lashley has never truly been knocked out. Chad Griggs TKO'd him only because Lashley was exhausted. These two, head-to-head, would result in some bang-bang action, and all probably in under five minutes.
Winner: Mark Hunt, by knockout
Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler
If you don't know anything about Michael Chandler, watch this:
Then watch this:
Chandler vs. Alvarez is up there among the greatest combat sports feuds of all-time. What those two fights showed is that both Chandler and Alvarez are warriors with hearts bigger than Dada 5000's belly.
Chandler is one of MMA's most underrated fighters. Alvarez finally found a way to go to the UFC. Chandler fights everyone strong and always puts on a great show. So, of course, put him in there with Conor McGregor and watch these two guys slug each other round after round.
McGregor would have the advantage here: he's taller and bigger. But Chandler fights like Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini and just might figure out a a way to be the last man standing. "In fighting you cannot hide from who you are," Bellator announcer Jimmy Smith once said. So true.
Winner: Conor McGregor, by knockout
Paul Daley vs Robbie Lawler
Paul Daley should be in the UFC. Yes, he was frustrated and threw a late punch at Josh Koscheck last decade, but that was no reason for the UFC President Dana White to ban him for life.
Daley has fists of fury. Lawler has fists of fury. It's a matter of time before one of them lands on the jaw.
Lawler is better on the ground, no doubt, but Daley tends to knock people cold when he hits them. Lawler, normally subdued in pre-fight interviews, would be forced to come out of his shell, with Daley, who talks more trash than is necessary before fights.Winner: Robbie Lawler, by decision
King Mo vs. Dan Henderson
This is a matchup of styles. Dan Henderson carries a baseball bat in his right hand. King Mo is the master of the takedown. Both of these guys like to "fight," which is always means a great result for fans. We've seen King Mo floored and it's quite entertaining.
And we have seen Dan Henderson become grappled into a decision defeat by Jake Shields. King Mo, however, doesn't enjoy that type of fighting as much. That's why he gets knocked out by spinning backfists: he wants to test his standup. King Mo needs a victory over a marquee UFC opponent like a Henderson, while Henderson would prove that he can still hang with a Top 10 fighter if he could knock King Mo out. It's the kind of fight where both guys would walk out winners, despite the outcome.
Winner: King Mo, by decision
Any fights you think we missed? Tell us which UFC-Bellator match-ups you'd like to see by giving your take in the comments section.